All we know is that we should stay alert and not let our guards down.

I want to know if the bold part is grammatically correct. Do I have to say "and do not let our guards down" or "not let our guards down"?

  • 1
    Adding do there makes it ungrammatical. You should not let your guard (sg) down.
    – tchrist
    Jan 11, 2021 at 4:25

1 Answer 1


You do not have to say either of those.

This is a slightly shortened version of "and not to let our guard down." The verb form you may be looking for there is the "to let". It sounds a bit stilted when included in the sentence but is perfectly well understood.

The idiom is letting, or not letting our guard down, in the singular. These are not various troops out there doing service, it is our own sense of guarding ourselves, our own guard, sense of protection.

  • Including a "to" would leave us with a sentence that wouldn't be perfectly well understood. The coordinated constituents need to be parallel. Both "stay alert" and "not let our guards down" need to be bare infinitive phrases. Each one of them needs to make sense when following the "should": we should stay alert and [we should] not let our guards down. Jan 12, 2021 at 16:41
  • Thank you for your help, both of you!! I was in doubt about how I had to say that Jan 13, 2021 at 8:38
  • And thank your for correcting me as for that idiom!! 🙏🌹 Jan 13, 2021 at 8:39

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